Monday, November 9, 2015

University funding looms as pressure point in Illinois budget standoff - Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune

For Illinois' universities nearing the end of the fall semester without money from the state, it's a tale of the haves and have-nots. Larger schools with vast alumni networks and healthy foundations such as the University of Illinois and Illinois State University have been able to weather the budget battle between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the legislature with minimal disruption. Positions go unfilled, technology isn't upgraded and construction projects are pushed back. At smaller schools where enrollment has declined in recent years or fundraising is more difficult, the pain has been more pronounced. There have been layoffs and furloughs. Money for athletics has been cut. Degree programs face consolidation. And cash reserves have been raided. Of particular concern is whether schools can continue to absorb the cost of scholarships for low-income students that the state usually covers.

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